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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 11, 2013 (02:06 PM)
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I guess we should wrap this thing up. So, obligatory notes:

Thanks to the judges, Masters and Zig for coming through with the results, and thanks to the people who showed up, and dropped some kicking horror reviews. You can find the fruits of your labour below.


Your top image has some weird website address in it. As a professional judge, I'm required to point out anything that appears to be less than professional.

This review nicely explained why you think Resident Evil 2 is scary. With the numerous descriptions and insight into the questions running through your mind, it was also clear that this game mentally engaged you. In a horror/suspense game, that's important stuff. You effectively made Resident Evil 2 sound "worth playing" -- maybe not "best ever" -- but definitely "worth playing", so I'd say that you've accomplished your mission and delivered a successful horror game review.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the descriptions you provided may have sounded scary as you were writing them... but they came across more "that sounds interesting" as opposed to "that sounds scary". It's really hard to take a frightening moment in one context and make it retain the scariness in an entirely different context. I can't tell you what "the secret" is to make those moments sound scary in a review, but that would make the final message -- that Resident Evil 2 will fray nerves and weaken resolve -- more potent.


This is a great review with a nice intro which uses the game's actual opening to set the scene. Some might question why the score is 9 and not 10 - is the game in any way lacking? Anything it could have done better? The penultimate paragraph mentions the "most notable difference" - but difference between what and what? I didn't quite follow that. The standout here is WQ's paragraph on the desire to 'uncover the truth.' Not only is this written well, but it invites us to play the game and uncover the truth along with the reviewer. Excellent stuff. All in all, tight, evocative writing from Leslie for what I understand is a comeback review of sorts for her.



Your top image is dark and confusing -- but not in an interesting way. As a professional judge, I'm required to point out anything that's disharmonious with your overall tone.

By using well-chosen examples, you've effectively made a case for the Silent Hill games being among the creepiest of the genre. Your sentence structure and arrangement is at a professional level; length and punctuation vary so that it never sounds stilted. With everything I've been reading lately, I appreciate that even more now.

My biggest issue was that I don't know whether I should buy this disc, or the original editions. How was the port? What were the enhancements? Any downgrades? Or maybe they're virtually identical to the originals -- in which case it's worth saying so. You spoke to this on a "content" level, but I guess I was hoping to know more from a "technical" level (in particular, the graphics).

As an aside, you should check out Corpse Party.


A useful intro tells us who this game is for and who will not appreciate it... which is appreciated. Rob falters in saying "these games" far too much, but more than makes up for it with his bolded sections which serve as microcosms of the experience as a whole. He does well to highlight Silent Hill's strengths: fear of what you can't quite hear/see trumping more obvious and tangible scares which define the horror of other games in the genre. The analysis of the differences in level of difficulty between the games is cogent, if sometimes jarringly stream-of-consciousness casual. Overall, a job well done on the toughest task among the four reviewers in the contest - covering a 'collection' - though certainly this is not Rob's best work.



You've effectively convinced me that this is a creepy game. For a moment, I even forgot that we're talking about a blurry green-and-tan handheld game. The black-and-white images actually look really cool (very nicely chosen by the way), but as a professional judge I must mention that's not what the real deal looks like. Some things get better on the emu! Bringing up things like the soundtrack, the unexpected appearance of Metroids, the variety of Metroid types and their potentially frightening countenance -- this is good stuff.

When you start discussing the downsides, the review seems pointed towards people who are familiar with the series. I played (and loved) the first over twenty years ago -- and was so satisfied that I never went back. I feel like I'm missing something. What's wrong with platforming scenes between rooms? I never had an issue with that in the original game. (You mentioned the lack of enemies in this game, but it sounds like there's more to the annoyance than that.) What's up with the analogy to a badly-written backstory? Is Super Metroid good?

In any case, a well-done review of a horror game.


I always enjoy Pick's combination of talky tone with spot-on analysis. He always 'gets it' and communicates it to you in a conversational way. Occasionally, as is the case here, there are some 'off' moments with the writing. This sentence, "And again, given the lack of color, paints their figures in a sinister light." doesn't actually seem to be a sentence. "Let's not also forget about the handheld's lack of an internal light source, which help give off an awkward feeling." I'm not sure what that means. And the second to last stanza mentions a "...more smoother ride..." Despite the fact that he gets across his thesis: that the game is scary and good because it has a variety of Metroids popping up on your linear path fraught with foreboding music and sound effects, but the platforming sucks hard - for me this was far from Pick's most polished or focused work.



As a professional judge, I have to mention that's not how "beguiled" is meant to be used.

From the first paragraph, you make this sound like the kind of experience one would find inside Lovecraft's mind. You've certainly got plenty of adjectives, but the well-chosen verbs -- worming and snaking and squashing -- make an even more striking impression. Aside from the subway level, the game sounds positively frightening in its every moment.

The downside of this review are its spelling errors and awkward words. But that's not enough of a downside to prevent your message from seeping into my mind, reminding me that I need to finally play this game.


Unfortunately for the others, this might be one of Emp's best reviews in a very long time. The intro is arresting, the conclusion is brilliant, and there are no lulls in between. He manages to hit all the right notes in order for the medicore score to seem precisely appropriate, which is no easy task. He uses the tedious subway area to describe the entire game which is clever and apt. I can't find a wrong foot placed except for the fact that he copies much of my own review. Kudos.


EmP - 185
OD - 168
WQ - 165
Pick - 157

So, yeah, congrats to me! Kudos to WQ for shaking off the rust to produce a great review (and now the results are final, I'll admit that banner gaffe? 100% my fault!) for OD for tackling a difficult subject, and to Pick for looking outside the usual horror route. If someone else wants to have a go at putting together the next tourney, feel free.

For us. For them. For you.

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Author: pickhut
Posted: September 11, 2013 (04:07 PM)
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Whoa, never saw that Metroid image before.

Thanks for both your insights on the review, and what you liked and thought felt weird. On the light source sentence, I was implying that the alternative use of light, like a lamp or something, helped make for an awkward feeling, since you had to adjust the position to see the game properly. I probably could have been more clear in the review, I guess. As for the analogy, I was poking fun at Other M's terrible plot structure about Samus' tacked-on backstory. For the platforming, I had a go with Metroid 1 for a few minutes while writing the review, and I never realized till now (or maybe forgot) that the ledge sections felt kinda repetitive. Metroid 2's sections are worse in comparison.

Thanks again, and congrats to EmP (the fiend!) on winning the contest. And good job to both WQ and OD for participating with solid reviews, as well!

I head spaceshit noises.

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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: September 11, 2013 (06:04 PM)
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Pick, there's something up with the editing here. Some of what was attributed to Zig was stuff I was saying. I'll fix it now.

I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: September 11, 2013 (07:20 PM)
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Ah-ha! I didn't play Other M, but since a bunch of modern gamers have played it, that's a reasonable kind of analogy to make.

Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: September 12, 2013 (12:53 PM)
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Thanks for the results. I was thinking I was a WINNAR after one score, but then the second put me to second. But one does not review a compilation game without expecting something like this to happen.

Zig, as to your questions.

1. Content-wise, the only difference between this and the original PS2 games is the inclusion of Born From A Wish, a bonus add-on that wasn't on the original SH2, but I think was added on to future releases of it. And there's new voice-acting as well.

2. Graphic-wise, the only difference is the addition of the HD visuals. Basically the same game in a different viewing format.

I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: September 15, 2013 (07:21 AM)
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Thanks for the comments, everyone. Ha. I honestly thought EmP would be judging this in lieu of Zig because only three other people showed up, and he didn't add himself in the final queue that I didn't see. But this is hellaciously awesome.

To Zig: That's an interesting comment. I did think that a lot of the details I was adding were meant to sound scary, or at the very least exciting. I honestly don't know why it didn't work (for you at least) as I had intended, but I still see where you're coming from. If there is a secret to it like you say, I honestly don't know what it is yet and I will need to experiment some more to figure it out. I do know that lately I have decided it's a good idea to use words that have a lot of meaning an power behind them rather than generic terms that don't really say anything, and I think this is far more effective than what I'd been doing before. (In truth, this is a lesson Marc taught me a long time ago with my Eschalon review, but it's not always easy to follow it, especially since I'm someone who needs a lot of creative inspiration to pull this sort of thing off, which I thankfully had here).

EmP had offered to put the screens in, and I'm really grateful he did because I felt t0hey made (what I thought to be) a really good review even more interesting. I didn't notice the error at the time, but it appears to be fixed now (I think), as I don't see it anywhere.

Marc: I think the reason I didn't give it a 10 was just because I didn't feel it was quite a 10 game, even though you're absolutely right in saying I didn't have any real flaws to point out in the review. (I guess if I had any nitpick at all with the game, it'd be the controls, but I'd actually gotten used to them as I was playing them, and actually would have argued that they help the game achieve its intended objectives. I just didn't have enough room, I felt, in the review to add something like that in there without ruining its flow.)

As for the penultimate paragraph (I love that word; that's awesome that you used it), after reading it and the few paragraphs before it, I can see your point. I was still talking about the differences between Leon's and Claire's scenarios, but after reading it again, there had been enough space between the introduction of that topic and that paragraph you mention that I could have reintroduced it. I'll actually go in now and add something in there to clear that up.

Anyway, thanks to you both for your feedback on my review. I will definitely take this into consideration for my next one (whenever that'll be). Thanks also for critiquing everyone else's, too, and making this a success.

Congrats to EmP and OD (Curse you! haha just kidding) for winning. EmP's review was truly spectacular. I shamefully still have to read OD's, since I hear it's supposed to be exemplary of a collection review, which I would love to learn to do correctly.

Congrats also to pickhut for participating in this, and for being creative with his horror selection.

[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will

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